This is the southern end of the Kaikoura Peninsula walkway.
At Limestone Bay...
There are excellent maps and lots of walks information and
good historical information and Maori myths.
We walked round here...
Only as far as where the track goes up the hill. I will
go back, take a picnic lunch and walk the whole track.
But today, we turned around and walked the other way...
Through the picnic reserve to the remains of
the South Bay whaling industry.
The whaling industry attracted the earliest European settlers to
the area. Whales occur here because of the unusually deep waters
close to shore, some pausing in their migration from feeding
grounds in Antarctic waters to breeding grounds in the warm
sub-tropical seas of the Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand.
Robert Fyffe established the first shore-whaling station,
Waiopuka, in 1843; other stations were built soon
after in South Bay...
This is what remains today.
Kaikōura, on the Marlborough coast, is isolated by mountains
and hills to both north and south. Before 1900 it had only bridle
tracks north and south, and no rail connection in either direction
until 1945. In the 1820s and 1830s Te Rauparaha and his allies
attacked Ngāi Tahu here. Ngāi Tahu retained its mana in the district,
but numbers slowly fell. Early Pākehā settlers, many of Irish origin,
struggled to clear the forest and create swamp-free pastures.
Kaikōura languished for over a century. On 15 December 1945
the Christchurch–Picton railway was opened at Kaikōura in front
of an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 5,000. From 1962 the roll-on,
roll-off ferry between Wellington and Picton brought more freight
and passenger traffic, both road and rail. The undersea Kaikōura
Canyon brings abyssal depths and sperm whales close to the coast,
and whale watching has been a major tourist attraction since the 1980s.
This is today's modern bus and fleet of boats that takes people
to see the whales.
Due to the pressure of the whaling industry, whale numbers
steadily declined after 1850 and it became uneconomic to
exploit them. Today, with marine mammals in New Zealand
being fully protected, the whales again find Kaikoura a safe
environment. Kaikoura is now internationally renowned as a
The Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management
Act came in to effect in August 2014. The Act established
the Kaikoura Marine Management Area which integrates
a number of marine protection and sustainable fisheries
measures in the Kaikōura marine environment. These include
a marine reserve, a whale sanctuary, a fur seal sanctuary, two
taiāpure (one of which surrounds the Kaikōura peninsula),
three mātaitai and new fishing regulations.